Completed in 2020 by the renowned ELASTICOFarm, the S-LAB complex, nestled within the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) in Turin, Italy, exemplifies a unique fusion of architecture and innovation. This complex artfully blends traditional manufacturing construction techniques with cutting-edge design, creating a vibrant and productive environment that encourages both creativity and collaboration.
S-LAB National Institute of Nuclear Physics Technical Information
- Architects: ELASTICOFarm
- Location: Turin, Italy
- Client: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
- Topics: Industrial Architecture
- Area: 1,776 m2
- Construction Cost: 1.760.000 €
- Project Year: 2016 – 2020
- Photographs: © Anna Positano & Gaia Cambiaggi | Studio Campo
The result is an innovative building, embodiment of a new idea for productive buildings, that become spaces for creativity and sharing, also thanks to a plan layout that includes courtyards and patios.
– ELASTICOFarm Architects
S-LAB National Institute of Nuclear Physics Photographs
Reimagining Industrial Architecture: The Innovative Design of S-LAB
S-LAB, the new complex of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (National Institute of Nuclear Physics) in Turin, Italy, is located within the premises of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Research Council). Its purpose is to foster collaborations between the two institutions in the development of shared research activities and programs.
This semi-industrial building is where machinery and precision instruments for the Institute’s experiments are produced. It carries a strong symbolic value due to the significance of the research topics and the high scientific value of the work conducted here.
The project employs traditional construction technology for manufacturing buildings. However, by reinterpreting these technologies, it circumvents the repetition of typical industrial warehouse aesthetics. The building’s deconstruction of volumes is emphasized through the use of different colored reinforced concrete infill panels, which protrude beyond the boundaries of the building. Some of the concrete panels conceal a message that only reveals itself under specific air humidity conditions, a nod to the building’s inherent purpose of experimentation.
The end result is an innovative building that embodies a fresh idea for productive structures. These spaces, thanks to an open-plan layout featuring courtyards and patios, become areas for creativity and sharing. The building is comprised of volumes of varying heights and articulations, each accommodating different functions – from the large hall of the shop to more compact spaces for laboratories, offices, and service areas. This variation in volumes helps mitigate the impact of the new building on the existing one and establishes a more coherent relationship with the existing office building, to which it is connected through a glass corridor, and the Colonnetti Park to the southeast, which serves as a natural filter between the dense Mirafiori district and the area along the banks of the Sangone river.
Strategically placed in the center of the lot, the building suggests the possibility of future expansions. The plan layout, designed to strengthen the relationship between the inside and outside, ensures that open spaces are not perceived as residual areas. This is evident from the tree-lined walkway, entrance courtyard, patio, and green area to the south that faces the canteen, to the technical service area to the east.
The building is designed to minimize energy consumption and maximize the use of renewable energy. Its mechanical systems are highly sophisticated, meeting various needs, from mechanical shops to areas requiring a controlled atmosphere.
ELASTICOFarm, founded by Stefano Pujatti, Alberto Del Maschio, and Sara dal Gallo in 2005, is an architecture and product design studio with offices in Italy and Canada. Its research explores the relationship between nature’s forces, humans, and the built environment, with each project viewed as an opportunity to experiment with materials, technology, and geometry.
Notes & Additional Credits
- Project Design Team: Stefano Pujatti, Alberto Del Maschio, Valeria Brero, Serena Nano, Daniele Almondo, Andrea Rosada, Monica Ierace
- Structural Engineering: Arching Srl
- Mechanical Engineering: Projema Engineering Srl
- Construction Company: Ruscalla Renato Spa
- Prefabricator: Alciati Srl
- Installations: Paolin Impianti Srl
- Press office: Cultivar